If you are receiving unsolicited phone calls from an entity pretending to be ACCC (a trusted non-profit credit counseling agency), please be assured that ACCC’s policy is NEVER to contact you unless you’ve explicitly requested us to call you. Also be cautious of emails from an unusual or unfamiliar domain. ACCC’s domain extension is @consumercredit.com, and any emails using a different extension should be treated with suspicion.


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Cyber Security Awareness Month

In honor of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we at Talking Cents would like to remind our readers about the importance of protecting yourself from cyber crime and identity theft. With so much private information existing in a digital format, tech savvy thieves can wreak havoc on your finances and cause debt in your name. Here are some tips and resources to stay safe online.

Prevent thieves from racking up debt in your name with these tips.

Prevent thieves from racking up debt in your name with these tips.

Online Security Tips for Cyber Security Awareness Month

  • Lock your mobile phone with a password or pin, and avoid using open WiFi networks for private activity like banking. Hackers can tap into the network or create their own to collect your personal information.
  • Create strong passwords with upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Use passwords that no one would be able to guess, and avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.
  • Do not click on links in unfamiliar emails, and don’t give any personal information to people you don’t know online. A thief may send an email that looks legitimate (maybe using your bank or credit card issuer’s logo), and ask for private information. This is not a typical practice, and you should ignore it and report it as “spam” or “phishing”. If it seems suspicious, then call the company directly to confirm.
  • Only make purchases from familiar online sellers with secure websites. This is noted when a site has “https” listed in front of the URL. the “S” stands for secure.
  • If you are unsure about a particular email or website, do a simple search to see if anyone else has experienced something similar, and if it is a potential security risk.

There are many ways that a thief can attempt to access your personal information. Click on ACCC’s Identity Theft Protection Guide below to familiarize yourself with some common methods, and how to prevent them from happening to you. ID theft handout 2015 1 No matter what method a thief used to access your personal information, there are steps you can take to prevent or minimize the damage. Click on ACCC’s guide below, “What To Do If Identity Has Been Stolen.”what to do after id theft memo

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Andi is a Marketing Assistant at ACCC. He is passionate about supporting financial literacy efforts and helping to educate people on the Talking Cents blog!

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